Glossary of Religious Holidays - Research Article from Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations

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Glossary of Religious Holidays

Buddhist Holidays

Buddhist religious practice stems from the Hindu belief that every new moon or full moon day should be set apart for observance. In Buddhism, the half-moon days also have special status. In Sri Lanka, each Poya day—the day of the rise of the full moon of each month of the Buddhist calendar—is a public holiday. The following observances are common in Southeast Asia.

Songran. The Buddhist New Year is a three-day springtime water festival, in which images of the Buddha are bathed.

Vesak. This last full moon day of Visakha highlights a threeday celebration of the birth, enlightenment, and death of the Buddha. It falls in April or May.

Waso (Varsa; Vassa). This holiday begins the Buddhist equivalent of Lent, a period between July and October (the rainy season in Southeast Asia), during which Buddhist monks...

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